Greek Quinoa Salad

Calling all Mediterranean/Greek food lovers! This recipe is one that will quite your taste buds! This delicious quinoa salad reminds me of summer. It is super light, has tons of vegetables in it, and it super crunchy and fresh. I absolutely love salads like this for the spring & summer. It would be a great dish to bring to a cookout, graduation party, memorial day celebration, etc!

I love quinoa because it is so versatile. You can make it into a side dish, main dish, dessert, or snack! It is a healthy grain with lots of fiber and nutritional benefits.

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Here’s a little more background on quinoa for those that are skeptics or unfamiliar with it.

Quinoa is naturally gluten-free and contains iron, B-vitamins, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, vitamin E and fiber. It is one of only a few plant foods that are considered a complete protein and comprised of all pernine essential amino acids.

Here’s what you get for 1 cup:

  • Protein: 8 grams.
  • Fiber: 5 grams.
  • Manganese: 58% of the RDA.
  • Magnesium: 30% of the RDA.
  • Phosphorus: 28% of the RDA.
  • Folate: 19% of the RDA.
  • Copper: 18% of the RDA.
  • Iron: 15% of the RDA.
  • Zinc: 13% of the RDA.
  • Potassium: 9% of the RDA.
  • Over 10% of the RDA for Vitamins B1, B2 and B6.
  • Small amounts of Calcium, B3 (Niacin) and Vitamin E

Other health benefits: Low Glycemic Index, Contains Magnesium, Iron, Zinc, and Potassium (the 4 major nutrients most Americans lack in their diet), improved Metabolic Health, Antioxidant properties, & it is a weight loss friendly food!

Don’t have you convinced yet? One bite of this salad and you will be clearing the shelves of quinoa at your local grocery store (okay, so maybe you’ll only buy one bag-same thing). Foods that have this much nutritional benefit and taste delicious can be hard to come by- but this recipe is a winner! I ate it for dinner last night, and plan to top it on a bed of greens with some grilled chicken tonight.

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I can’t get enough of this stuff! I had it for lunch today with a mango!

For this recipe you will need:

1.5 cups dry quinoa (will make much more after being cooked)

1 small red onion (about 1/3 cup chopped)

1 large cucumber (mine was huge, so if you have small ones, use 2!)

1 pint cherry tomatoes (sliced in 1/2 or 1/3)

1 large green pepper (or 2 small)

3-4 green onions

1/3 cup feta cheese (I used reduced fat Athenos)

3 cups Chicken/Vegetable Broth

Dressing:

3 tablespoons olive oil

Juice of 1 small/medium lemon

2 tablespoons White Wine Vinegar

2 cloves minced garlic (about 1/2 tbsp)

salt & pepper to taste

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I made this 2 weekends ago for my family as well, but used an orange pepper that time! Still super tasty, but I liked it better with green pepper.

Directions:

Measure & pour 3 cups of Chicken/Vegetable Broth into a pot. Bring it to a strong boil. Then add the quinoa and turn the temperature on low. Make sure to continue to stir as the quinoa cooks. If you do not have broth and/or wold prefer not to use it, you can always boil the quinoa in water, but the broth gives it more flavor!

As the quinoa cooks, chop the vegetables into small pieces. Toss all of the vegetables in a bowl while the quinoa continues to cook. To prepare the dressing, simply add the olive oil, vinegar, and lemon juice and whisk well. Add the minced garlic, salt, and pepper and give it another stir.

When the quinoa is finished cooking, let it cool for a few minutes in the pot. I let mine cool for about 15 minutes. Then, add it to the bowl with the vegetables. It will probably still be a bit warm, but that it okay since the salad will be put in the refrigerator for a while to cool. Mix everything up well and then add the dressing. Finally, fold in the feta cheese and cover the bowl and put it in the fridge. My salad was cold after about an hour and I dug in. If you want you could eat this salad warm, but it really does taste best cold. It actually tastes even better the next day so this salad is perfect for meal prepping for lunches/dinners.

This size makes a huge batch and has about 8-10 servings if you eat it as a side dish. You could also add some grilled chicken to this meal and make it a main dish!

What is your favorite way to eat quinoa? Let me know in the comments!

 

 

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